Cindy Crawford is widely considered America’s first and most famous supermodel. Although she was born with incredibly good looks, it took hard work and a little bit of luck to get there. Throughout her long and impressive career, this girl has done it all: walked the runway, appeared in movies, and graced the covers of magazines all over the country.
Although she’s been dubbed “The Original Supermodel,” getting into the industry wasn’t Cindy Crawford’s original plan. The high school valedictorian was actually hoping to study engineering, but life had bigger plans. From family tragedies to getting bullied, the drop-dead gorgeous star had her own share of hardships.
Step into your stilettos and check out these stunning facts about Cindy Crawford.
A Supermodel Is Born
With her hard work and good looks, Cindy Crawford grew up to have an amazing career that would bring her fame and fortune. However, she wasn’t always considered a high-class lady. In fact, she had an ordinary middle-class upbringing.
On February 20th, 1966, Cynthia Ann was welcomed into the world. She had two sisters, Chris and Danielle, and one brother, Jeffery. She was the second of the four children. Her father, John Daniel, was an electrician, and her mother, Jennifer-Sue, was a bank teller.
Changing Up the Game
Before Cindy Crawford stepped onto the scene, the image of the ideal American model was totally different. Believe it or not, Cindy Crawford didn’t fit the perfect mold that was expected of a model. However, she wasn’t going to let that stop her from pursuing a career in the industry.
“Cindy changed the perception of the ‘gorgeous American girl,’ from classic blue-eyes blonde to a sultrier brunette with brains, charm, and professionalism to spare,” according to one of her coworkers. Here goes Cindy, changing the model beauty standards in America!
Her Roman Emperor Blood
Who Do You Think You Are? is a popular television show that takes celebrities on a journey to trace parts of their family tree. In 2013, Crawford came on the show but discovered something surprising about her ancestry. Her lineage was traced way back to the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne.
“Not too bad for a simple farm girl from Midwest potato-eating folk,” Crawford joked when she found out about her royal blood. I guess you never really know where you come from until you take one of these DNA tests. Maybe your genetics could also be traced back to royalty!
Even British royalty couldn’t resist Cindy’s charm and beauty. They fell head over heels fast. Cindy and two of her friends and fellow models, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, were invited for tea at Buckingham Palace when Princess Diana found out that her son was in love with her.
“I went bright red and didn’t know what to say, and sort of fumbled, and I think I pretty much fell down the stairs on the way up,” Prince William said about his encounter with his celebrity crush. Also, is tea at the palace just an ordinary afternoon for supermodels?
Who’s Laughing Now?
Despite being drop-dead gorgeous, Cindy Crawford was immune to high school bullies. In fact, her beauty must have made the mean girls jealous. When she was just a sophomore, some of her classmates played a pretty cruel prank on her.
Cindy got a call from a local boutique offering her a modeling gig, but she later found out that it was a prank call from the kids at school. They were just playing a cruel joke on her. As it turned out, Cindy got the last laugh later that year when she was offered a real modeling job by that same store!
Debunking the Rumors
Hollywood folklore has it that the world first discovered Cindy’s beauty when a photographer took a candid picture of her working on the family farm. Well, this tale isn’t the truth. The supermodel got her big break when a local put her on the cover of the DeKalb Nite Weekly.
The photograph of Cindy generated so much buzz and attention in her community that she was inspired to take on modeling. She was only seventeen years old when she joined the Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year Contest, and shortly afterward, she signed with an agency.
Brains and Beauty
Some people think that you can’t be pretty and smart, but Cindy Crawford is proof that a person can have both beauty and brains. You may be surprised to find out that the supermodel was also a straight-A student.
In high school, Cindy was at the top of her class, and she even earned the Valedictorian title when she graduated. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. Upon graduation, she landed an academic scholarship to Northwestern University to study chemical engineering. It turns out some people really are born beautiful and intelligent.
When Cindy Crawford got accepted to Northwestern, she was so thrilled to begin her higher education and to study engineering. However, the excited student was greeted with judgments and stereotypical attitudes when she arrived at the university.
On her first day of calculus, she was judged for being in a male-dominant classroom; her professor even singled her out: “He was like, ‘Honey, I think you have the wrong class,’” Cindy explained. “That made me so mad. It was really the first time in my life that I felt judged by the way I looked.”
Hiding Her Mole
Cindy Crawford’s mole or “beauty mark” right above her lip is the model’s most iconic feature. She literally changed people’s perceptions of freckles, and women began using eyeliner to draw a fake mole on their face in order to resemble the gorgeous model.
However, the fashion industry used to be quite mean even when it came to Cindy’s mole. It was considered an imperfection, so in one of her first photoshoots and magazine covers, her signature mole was airbrushed out of the picture so that she would look more like the other models.
When Cindy first made a name for herself in the modeling world, industry insiders began to notice something other than her iconic beauty mark. People immediately started to realize that she had an uncanny resemblance to the 1970s model Gia Carangi. Gia was another modeling industry pioneer.
In fact, some people consider Gia the first ever supermodel. The stars have such striking similarities that Cindy was dubbed “Baby Gia.” She loved the nickname since looking like the stunning Gia Carangi was certainly not a bad thing.
A Serious Model
As you can tell from her good grades and hard work, Cindy is the kind of woman to take her career very seriously. During her modeling days, the industry was extremely aware of Cindy’s consummate professionalism, and she gained a reputation for it.
With a ton of modeling experience, Crawford acknowledges that many young models are able to get away with being “high maintenance and hungover” in photoshoots, as long as they are the “next big thing.” She also added, “that gets old, and soon there is another new hot thing.” This serious mindset led to an incredibly successful career.
500 Magazine Appearances in One Year
Yeah, you read that number correctly. At the height of her career, Cindy was one of the most talked-about celebrities. She was everywhere, a constant cover girl featured on some of the biggest magazines in America, including Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Allure, Elle, and People.
At the same time, she was walking the runway for high-end designers like Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana, and Michael Kors. In 1998 alone, she made over 500 magazine appearances. I can’t even imagine how many covers she’s been on throughout her entire career. Probably thousands.
Right Place at the Right Time
While many supermodels of our time seem to be slender and paper-thin, Cindy Crawford has a unique body type, and she believes it definitely contributed to her success as a model. She stands at 5 feet 9 inches and is known for her strong, athletic figure that is more attainable and realistic than being super skinny.
Cindy is proud of her toned rocking body. But she often attributes her success to good luck and good timing: “Right place, right time. If I were modeling today, I don’t know if I would make it because I’m not a size two,” she confessed.
Iconic ‘90s Girls
Cindy Crawford helped pave the way for what the modeling industry is today. But she couldn’t have done it all alone. Other models of her time, including Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, were also considered the “original supermodels.”
The three gorgeous ladies were so popular during their prime that they were asked by George Michael to appear in his legendary music video for Freedom ’90. Fellow beauties like Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz also graced the video with their lovely faces. The music video has since become iconic for fashion and pop music.
The Term “Supermodel”
America began using the term “supermodel” in the 1980s. The look of a supermodel or the “ideal woman” has evolved through the years, but the term is always used to describe absolutely gorgeous, highly paid fashion models with national recognition.
Journalists and fashion designers started throwing the term around, but actual models weren’t necessarily happy with it. Cindy Crawford, America’s first supermodel didn’t like the term. She even stated that it was “ridiculous” and “so cheesy it would never stick.” She was a little off there!
Finding “The One”
You may assume that someone as smart, rich, and beautiful as Cindy Crawford would never run into boy troubles. As it turns out, she, unfortunately, has had a string of failed marriages and relationships. But luckily, her luck in the love department turned around.
Everything changed when she attended her agent’s wedding and met Rande Gerber. Gerber was also a former model, and the two hit it off instantly. Cindy and Rande actually started their relationship as friends, but their relationship flourished into a beautiful romance. The pair have been married for over two decades.
The Beach Bride
It’s no secret that Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber had more than enough cash to blow on a wedding, lavish flowers, and over-the-top extravagance. But that not how the pair wanted to spend their special day.
Instead, the happy couple went for a laid-back ceremony on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Cindy wore a casual lace sundress, very little makeup, and bare feet on her wedding day. The carefree bride also told her guests to arrive comfortably. No suits or ties needed. If you don’t want the stress of a perfect wedding, try this fun, casual idea.
Good Looking DNA
As two gorgeous former models, it comes as absolutely no surprise that Rande and Cindy passed on their stunning genes to their two children, Kaia and Presley. The kids decided to follow in their parents’ footsteps and embark on their own modeling careers.
Kaia has done shoots for Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, while Presley has worked with Dolce and Gabbana. Not bad. Both kids have their mom’s perfect facial structure and doe brown eyes. Presley even inherited Cindy’s signature beauty mark next to his upper lip!
She Knows What She Loves
When Cindy Crawford made a recent appearance on Vogue’s “73 Questions” series, she revealed some juicy inside info that fans were dying to know. First of all, she said that the book she would bring with her on a deserted island was any book written by Jodi Picoult.
Next, she admitted that her favorite classy food is caviar. I guess in Hollywood circles, you end up eating fish eggs, and apparently, they are delicious! Cindy also has a weakness for anything with chocolate in it. The girl certainly has a sweet tooth.
Rumor Has It
As it goes in Hollywood, with great success comes great criticism. Even the most talented celebrities in the industry have their share of haters, and unfortunately, Cindy is no exception; her success came with some nasty speculations. She was first criticized when rumors spread that she bought her daughter Kaia’s modeling career.
The former supermodel denied these claims. She acknowledged that, of course, she used her connections in the industry to help her daughter’s career, but she didn’t pay a dime to get Kaia or Presley any modeling gigs: “I think if I was going to buy a cover for someone, it would be me,” Cindy noted.
The New Jane Fonda
In the early ‘90s, Cindy concocted a genius business idea that would help shape both her career and body. She decided to create her own ‘80s style workout videos, inspired by Jane Fonda’s popular videos that the model herself used.
Cindy released the workout tapes through her production company, Crawdaddy Productions. The first Cindy Crawford video came out in 1992, titled “Shape Your Body.” The videos sold like hotcakes, and some people still use them in their workout routine to this day.
Homebody at Heart
The public often perceives celebrities as extroverted, people who are overly social, love attention, and just want to party all the time. But Cindy was a little different. She has always been a bit of a homebody and admitted that she is actually pretty shy in real life.
She had to drag herself to events and parties because it was good for networking, but given a choice, she preferred to chill at home with a movie. “I realized I might miss out on opportunities or making friends, but my temptation would be to not go at all [and have] room service and my book,” she revealed.
She Wanted a “Real Job”
Many models grow up with big dreams and know since childhood what they want to be when they grow up. They spend a lot of time involved in the pageant world and striving for modeling gigs from an extremely young age. But Cindy didn’t really think her life would go in the modeling direction.
Her original plan was to take off five years of college to make some extra cash by modeling. Then, she was hoping to finish her degree and get herself a “real job.” But God had other plans. She clearly found her destiny in the industry and never went back to school.
Super Bowl Pepsi Commercial
Cindy Crawford’s 1992 Super Bowl Pepsi commercial was incredible for both her modeling career and for Pepsi. She became the beverage’s icon to the point where fans yelled out “Pepsi” whenever they saw her in public. One of the perks was that whenever she went to a bar, she was offered a free Pepsi.
“And it’s funny because, during Halloween, a lot of women will dress up as me in that commercial. It’s, like, an easy Halloween costume,” Cindy added about the fame she gained through that legendary advertisement.
The Pepsi Ad Reenactment
Twenty-six years after Cindy’s epic Super Bowl Pepsi commercial aired for millions of viewers, she decided to recreate the memorable ad with her son Presley. Just like his mother did in 1992, Presley reaches for the Pepsi from the vending machine.
“When he was doing his thing, I was just a proud mom watching from the sidelines, trying not to annoy him,” she said while speaking about the event. The video even featured footage from Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commercial as a tribute to the company’s 120-year history in pop culture.
Her Two Mini-Mes
Cindy’s daughter Kaia is the spitting image of her stunning mother. The mother-daughter duo even wears matching outfits sometimes when out in public. However, Kaia isn’t the only Gerber kid who was lucky enough to inherit Cindy’s good looks.
Like his mother, Presley wasn’t always a fan of his beauty marks. He even considered surgery to get rid of it. He ultimately decided to keep it because he was scared surgery would leave a permanent scar. Although he is self-conscious about the mole, hopefully, he will learn to love and embrace it, just like his mother.
Not an Actress
After a few years of successful modeling, Cindy Crawford decided to try her hand at acting and take her talents to the big screen. In 1995, she made her movie debut in Fair Game. Unfortunately, the critics were not impressed by her acting chops.
Hollywood reporter Leonard was harsh on the model, saying, “In her acting debut, supermodel Crawford makes a good jogger.” Yikes! Since then, she has made a few acting appearances here and there. Her most recent was in Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood.”
Hanging Up Her Stilettos
In 2000, after Cindy Crawford celebrated her 50th birthday, she decided to step down from her incredible modeling career. Ever since her retirement, she has only participated in a few projects that she was passionate about and had true meaning to her.
“I’m sure I’ll have my picture taken for ten more years, but not as a model anymore,” she revealed to Rhapsody magazine. “And that’s OK. I’ve done it. I’ve worked with all these incredible photographers. What else do I need to do?” she added.
The Iconic Dress
Throughout her career, Cindy Crawford had many iconic looks, but two of them were particularly memorable: the one for the Pepsi commercial and the other for the red, plunging Versace dress she rocked at the 63rd Academy Awards ceremony back in March 1991. She attended the event with her boyfriend at the time, actor Richard Gere.
The gorgeous dress she wore that evening went down in fashion history and inspired tons of knockoffs that were created to match the original Versace gown. The dress is so iconic that it was ranked number 12 in a poll by The Telegraph of the list of the greatest red-carpet gowns of all time.
A Very Special Birthday
Many people, including celebrities, dread the day they turn 50. But Cindy Crawford celebrated her big birthday by publishing her photographic memoir, Becoming. The book celebrates her amazing career that spanned over three successful decades with 50 photos and life lessons that she learned along her modeling journey.
“Turning 50 wasn’t something I was looking forward to. But, I thought, ‘you can either embrace it or run away from it,’” she explained after publishing the book. I mean, if I looked like that at 50, I would certainly embrace it too.
She Has Heroes Too
Many women look up to Cindy Crawford as a role model. She is a strong, powerful, independent model representing positive femininity and women empowerment. But as a child, Cindy looked up to smart women who were often scientists.
She was also inspired by strong, talented women such as Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, and Meryl Streep. Although she admitted that she didn’t really look up to her own mother, she now admires her for her inner strength and bursting positivity.
The Perfect Student
If high school was a competition, Cindy Crawford would win first prize. The other students barely stood a chance. In addition to her perfect grades and Valedictorian status, she also won Prom Queen.
The Prom King was her handsome quarterback boyfriend. A year before taking home the Prom Queen crown, Cindy was also named the Homecoming Court of her school and was even on the National Honor Society. Who says high school sucks? Other than a couple of mean girls, Cindy was a happy teenager with a bright future.
Not From the Instagram Generation
Cindy Crawford has an incredible 4.7 million Instagram followers, and her daughter has an astonishing 5.5 million. Despite her outstanding Instagram fame, Cindy once said she wasn’t always a big fan of social media. It actually took her a little while to get the hang of the new technological world.
“It’s so funny; I just don’t understand that world yet,” the former model explained. Although she is happy that her daughter found Instagram, she’s the first to admit that “some of my daughter’s captions, I don’t even understand.”
Living Like a Supermodel
If you have an extra 7.5 million dollars to spend, you could buy Cindy Crawford’s magnificent beachfront Malibu mansion. In 2019, Crawford and Gerber decided to sell the luxurious home. The beautiful mansion includes four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and high, wood-beamed ceilings.
It is beautifully renovated with Spanish-style accents like a red-tiled roof and neutral colors. Arguably, the best feature of the home is its absolutely stunning view of the Pacific Ocean that can be seen from the wooden deck of the house. Unfortunately, I don’t have 7.5 million dollars, but if I did, I know what I’d spend it on.
Topping the Hot Charts
Cindy Crawford is considered to be one of the most beautiful women of all time. It’s evident from just looking at her, but she has also been featured on multiple lists to prove it. In fact, she was ranked number five on A magazine’s list of The 100 Most Beautiful Stars of the Twentieth Century.
But that’s certainly not the only hotlist she’s been on. In 2002, the supermodel was included on People magazine’s list of the 50 most beautiful women. Even in her 40s, Cindy was still topping the charts, reaching number 26 on the Hot 100 issue of Maxim Magazine.
Her Baby Brother
Many people are unaware that when Cindy Crawford was just a little girl, she suffered a devastating loss in her family. When she was just eight years old, her little brother (who was just a toddler at the time) was diagnosed with leukemia.
Since Cindy and her sister were so young at the time, it was difficult for them to comprehend the gravity of their brother’s health condition. “I think when my parents first told us our brother was sick, we didn’t really understand what it meant. They didn’t use the word ‘cancer,’” the starlet recalled.
A Family Tragedy
The sickness that Cindy’s brother suffered from had a massive impact on her childhood and the rest of her life. For months, the Crawford family took a two-hour drive every day so that little Jeffrey could go to the hospital to get his radiation treatment. Jefferey briefly entered remission before he continued to get sick. Sadly, his prognosis was not good.
Jeffrey’s parents put their young son through several experimental treatments, hoping for a miracle that they never got. Tragically, Jeffrey passed away when he was only three years old, leaving Cindy and the rest of her family heartbroken.
A Dark Time
As you could have guessed, Jeffrey’s illness was a terrible, dark time for Cindy and her family. Despite it all, Cindy also remembers special moments during this difficult time. She recalled a time when her mother found Jeffrey sitting alone, praying “that when he died, they would be okay without him.” That gave me chills throughout my body.
Cindy found comfort because she felt as though Jeffery accepted his untimely fate: “There’s some sense of completeness and peace that comes with knowing that he knew that, and he kind of decided he was done fighting,” she expressed.
It’s been years since Cindy lost her little brother, but as you could imagine, his death continues to massively impact her life. When Cindy started getting involved in charity work, she decided to make pediatric cancer a major part of her work in memory of her baby brother, Jeffrey.
To this day, Cindy is involved in the cause and continues to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. When Cindy discusses the people who influenced her the most, she never forgets to mention her little brother Jeff.
Age Is but a Number
Cindy Crawford was one of the first famous faces to break the age barriers when it came to her choice of lovers. Back in 1987, she met her first husband, Richard Gere, at a barbeque, and the pair fell in love despite their 15-year age gap.
The pair tied the knot in 1991 in a spontaneous Las Vegas wedding. It didn’t take long for Richard and Cindy to become Hollywood’s “It” couple, and in 1993, People magazine named the gorgeous husband and wife the “Best Couple of the Year.”
No Fairy-Tale Ending
Unfortunately, Richard and Cindy’s whirlwind romance didn’t last forever. In 1995, the seemingly perfect couple split up after a few years of an unsuccessful marriage. When looking back on her relationship with Richard, Cindy admitted that she tried way too hard to impress him.
She even went as far as pretending she shared the same interests as him, like baseball and meditation. In reality, she didn’t really care for either of those things. “I don’t know if we were ever friends, like peers, because I was young and he was Richard Gere,” she explained.
Cindy C by Prince
Cindy Crawford wasn’t the first model to have a song written about her. However, the song that renowned musician Prince wrote about her was far from a love song. In fact, it was a pretty cruel diss-track.
As the story goes, Prince invited her over to his table one evening when they were at the same club. But Crawford sent her bodyguard over instead to politely decline his request. Prince was clearly butt-hurt, so he wrote the song Cindy C. In the lyrics, he called the model a “super-fine heifer” and stated he would “pay the usual fee” to be with her. Ouch!
The Other Side of the Story
If you ask Crawford about her side of the story of her encounter with Prince, she remembers it completely differently. According to Cindy, she was actually dancing at the nightclub with a close friend when a man came over and started dancing super close to her.
Because of the music and lights, it took the model a second to realize who he was. Nonetheless, she said that’s where the encounter ended. “Now I know what was going through his mind as we were dancing,” she mentioned after she found out the song was about their brief meeting.